Marlborough Stirling cuts back ahead of strategic review

Marlborough Stirling cuts back ahead of strategic review

Marlborough Stirling, the UK-based life and pensions technology vendor, is to cut five per cent of staff and close certain loss-making operations in advance of a full "strategic review" of the company's future options.

The latest cutbacks, which are expected to deliver annualised savings of £3 million, follow an organisational review by recently-recruited CEO Mike O'Leary. The actions will result in a one-off charge of £2 million, to be taken in the first-half results.

In a statement released following its AGM, the company says that O'Leary's next priority is to "undertake a full strategic review of the options available to the business and its shareholders to exploit fully the potential of Marlborough Stirling’s excellent market positions and technologies".

O'Leary is expected to report back in time for the firm's interim trading update in July.

The firm says the quick-fix organisational savings will mitigate against future revenue risks in the timing of certain pipeline contracts that "have the potential to affect our results materially".

Presenting the results, Huw Evans, chairman, desribed 2003 as "a year of consolidation for Marlborough Stirling".

Turnover for the year was £114.6m (2002: £121.0m) with growth in outsourcing and a good performance for IFA portal services offset by weakness in software and consultancy. Cost-cutting measures meant that the year’s adjusted operating profit declined by just £1.1m to £10.4m (2002: £11.5m) despite the £6.4m reduction in turnover.

Evans further announced his plans to step down as chairman once a suitable successor was found.

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